Tomi Roberts-Jones

Tomi Roberts-Jones in action in South Africa. Pic: Reinhardt Hamman

Cardiff Teenager Tomi Roberts-Jones Targets Commonwealth Youth Games After Para-Training Camp In South Africa

By Paul Evans

Disability Sport Wales Performance Pathway athlete and rising Paralympic star Tomi Roberts-Jones has just returned from a Commonwealth Youth Games GAPS programme training camp in South Africa – and now the Cardiff teenager is hoping to be selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Youth Games this summer.

Tomi was one of three young Welsh para-athletes who were invited to the week-long training camp in Stellenbosch, along with Will Bishop (Denbigh), Ashton Fish (Caerphilly) and their coach and Disability Sport Wales Performance Pathway Officer Morgan Jones.

Tomi Roberts-Jones Tomi Roberts-Jones training in South Africa. Pic: Reinhardt Hamman

The GAPS programme offers athletes from Africa, Asia and Europe a development opportunity in preparation for the Commonwealth Youth Games, which takes place in Trinidad and Tobago in August.

For 17-year-old Tomi, who attends sixth form at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf Cardiff, the GAPS training camp wasn’t just a great opportunity to experience some hot-weather training, but also an amazing goal upon which to focus on during his recovery following neurosurgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital at the beginning of the year.

From a very young age, sport has been extremely important to Tomi, and he’s participated in everything from taekwondo to rugby, swimming, cycling and a lot more.

Indeed, sport has always given Tomi something to talk about and given him a real sense of purpose in life.

Tomi discovered athletics when, as a nine-year old, he attended an insport Series event organised by Disability Sport Wales.

Tomi was invited to try athletics by DSW Performance Pathway Senior Officer Nathan Stephens, he hasn’t looked back from that day since.

“Visiting South Africa was class,” says Roberts-Jones.

“I enjoyed the warm weather training and having the opportunity to represent Wales at competition level is always awesome.

“Sport has been the building blocks of my life; it is who I am today. It has given me focus, self-belief and self-determination.

“My goal is to become a Paralympian in the near future.”

“It’s amazing to see Para events being included within the Commonwealth Youth Games for the first time this year,” adds Stephens.

“We’re delighted that three Welsh Para-athletes and coach Morgan Jones were given the opportunity to attend the GAPS programme which provided them with an incredible competition and development experience.

“This is a huge opportunity for youth Para sport, to give young developing athletes to compete on the world stage and help with the transition into senior competitions and future multi-sport games.”

“To give young developing athletes a chance to compete on the world stage and to help with the transition into senior competitions and future multi-sport games is a huge opportunity for youth Para sport.”

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